Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Plastic City/Elastic City: A Critical Interpretation of Urban Transformations
Antonio Camporeale

Last modified: 14-05-2018


Globalization phenomenon caused effects that profoundly reduced the variety of reality, involving cultural, social and economic diversities, once recognizable and also identifiable through the study of architecture as a collective product of a civil community.

In this context, architecture, as built and anthropic reality, suffered the shots of a revolution that has produced osmosis, hybridisation, contamination, both diatopic that diachronic, now became synchronic and syntopic phenomena.

Actually, you can find / read common characters in the substrate, first typological then material, which, if critically interpreted, could indicate a possible and alternative way out of this apparent chaotic condition.

In my opinion, following the consolidated basis of a theoretical and cultural heritage that has provided tools for critical reading of urban transformations, it is possible to distinguish two types of processes, usually traceable in cities.

In order to rich this goal, I used the tools of the mechanical building discipline that identify: ‘elastic’ and ‘plastic’ transformations. The ‘elastic’ transformation produces ‘elastic cities’ because, at the end of the sustained stresses, the final configuration not change, instead the ‘plastic’ one produces ‘plastic cities’ when, at the end of the sustained stresses, the final configuration is not coincided with the initial one.

These considerations / critical notes are the beginning of a research that, in my opinion, could offer inedited developments, both in the recognition of an unusual history of architecture, closer to his material essence, either as design and project tools, coherent with new consolidated environments.

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